So I missed the British Airways card deal...

Jan 27th, 2010, 02:48 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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So I missed the British Airways card deal...

which I am extremely bummed about. I'm a newbie to this, and wanted to ask you all about potential pitfalls.

We are flying to France in July, hopefully to a regional airport like BOD or TLS. I'm looking at the high ticket prices and thinking about getting the card anyway.

We have excellent credit. If I get a card and my husband gets a card, we could still get 50,000 points each and get economy seats (not including tax). We'd have to buy our daughter's seat, but they offer a slightly less expensive ticket for a child.

Instead of costing us $3800 it could be $1800. Plus the annual fee for two cards. That's still a savings of over $1800 total.

Is this reasonable? If I have the points by April, will the mileage seats be sold out?

I'm also wondering if we might have problems buying our seats with points and our daughter's with cash.
christycruz is offline  
Jan 27th, 2010, 05:44 PM
  #2  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I'm toying with the best way to use my newfound BA miles. One option I'm chewing on is using them on an AA flight US to Europe. AA seems to charge far less tax & fees on FF tickets to Europe (~$80 vs $250 on BA). Plus AA flies non-stop US to France. (Paris). You could also look into Iberia (OneWorld Alliance) to BOD or TLS.

I believe you can still get the free companion ticket coupon on BA if you spend $30k in a year even though the 100k bonus offer is gone. If your spending rate gets you the $30k by April then that's another option using just one card. I don't know when they actually issue the 2fer though. The 2fer is only good on BA metal.

My 50k x 2 bonus miles have shown up within one week on BA.
J62 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 06:47 AM
  #3  
 
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One option I'm chewing on is using them on an AA flight US to Europe.

No can do. BA miles can't be redeemed for transatlantic travel on any AA route. This is different from the prohibition on using AA miles for BA flights. In the case of AA miles you can use them for any BA flights to the UK from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean; but BA says no to using their miles even on, e.g., USA - Germany.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jan 28th, 2010, 06:55 AM
  #4  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Thanks gardyloo - good info. My $ saving option then is to use my BA miles for AA domestic flights, and my AA miles for AA flights to Europe.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), the 2fer is what puts the BA offer over the edge, so I may just bite the bullet and pay BA fees. It would be a shame to throw away the 2fer.
J62 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 08:23 AM
  #5  
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While I had a chance at the 2fer when I started my house remodeling months ago, I have little chance now. Especially for a July flight.

I guess I'll apply for the cards.
christycruz is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 08:51 AM
  #6  
 
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Which offer are you referring to? There's the standard 30,000 one and the 100,000 promo. I don't see a 50,000 one.

Where are you originating? You can play around with the BA award search to get an idea of availability. You don't need to have miles in your account to do this. In the cursory searches I've done, it seems much easier to find transatlantic availability from say JFK vs LAX. Availability will be different in April but it gives you some idea.

If you applied now, you could probably get your miles a little quicker than April. It took just over a month from application for my first purchase bonus to post.

Good luck!
Patty is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 12:27 PM
  #7  
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It's 30,000 bonus upon acceptance, and 20,000 after your first use. I think you have to spend $750 or more to actually get the points. I forgot they also give you $50 with the purchase of a ticket, which takes the sting out of the $75 annual card fee.

I'm looking at SFO-TLS (Toulouse). Bordeaux would also be ok. Right now BA has the best price that I could find without some kind of crazy layover. Also, the nonstop sfo-lhr is appreciated.

Thanks for letting me know how long it took. That's faster than the 6-8 week turnaround they tell you to expect.

Anyone have experience with purchasing one ticket normal and others with points?
christycruz is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 12:47 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Just note a couple of things when you are targeting BA or any of the European airlines for your FF miles.

When you use FF miles on the European airlines you will need to pay the fuel surcharge which you don't pay on the FF tickets for the U.S. airlines. So for example my FF ticket from Boston to Johannesburg cost me $644 compared to about $100-200 for the same flight on Delta. Also note if you are someone who flies coach you will only get 25% credit for the miles you fly on BA when you purchase tickets versus 100% on U.S. carriers.
GreenDrake is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 01:40 PM
  #9  
 
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I still can't find that offer. Do you have a link?

The one I saw gives 20,000 first use + 10,000 for $750 spend http://www.mychasecreditcards.com/britishairways/hp_1

Also I don't see a single date in July with 2 SFO-LHR economy award seats on BA.
Patty is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 03:19 PM
  #10  
 
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I agree with GreenDrake concerning fuel charges, taxes & fees that BA loads into the final amount. We have used FF miles on BA several times and they tucked in $300-$400 per ticket. With AA, taxes and fees account only between $100-$150 per ticket.
JoyC is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 03:46 PM
  #11  
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Drat. Patty, I used this link: http://www.mychasecreditcards.com/br...ays/hp_postpin

But when I click on Apply Now, it gives the lower awards you quote.

But the seats I found on the BA site itself. Or are you looking on the seats available for points purchase? That would help me a lot to know that.

Thanks for your help.

About the AA fees. I don't have any AA points, and the point awards for the card look pretty low. Am I missing something?
christycruz is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 05:40 PM
  #12  
 
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Yes, I'm looking at award not paid seats. Award inventory is limited.

The best current AA Citi credit card offers give 30,000 miles with $750 spend, same as the currently available BA Chase offer. Citi has multiple AA credit card products, many with the first year annual fee waived so you can apply for more than one. Citi has been cracking down on credit card churners lately but if you've never had one this doesn't apply to you. That's not to say you'll have an easier time getting award seats via AA for July.
Patty is offline  
Jan 28th, 2010, 11:23 PM
  #13  
 
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I am not part of BA's FF program or credit card but my friend used to be and she said they were horrible - could barely use her miles for anything and even her "free" tickets cost a lot. She switched to Delta.

I highly recommend Capitalone for miles. No fee, no foreign charges, and you just get reimbursed for whatever you paid for! we just got a free ticket to Thailand ($900) and are already halfway on our way to another one. Plus, you still get FF miles for your "award" ticket - from the airline.
usernameistaken is offline  
Jan 29th, 2010, 04:24 AM
  #14  
 
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I've been a BA FF member for a while, and I've found them to be reasonable in terms of getting award seats. Much better than United (though that may be damning with faint praise), not as good as Lufthansa. My personal best score ever was on BA with the King of all FF awards, on Concorde.

I find Capital One to be useless for scoring business or first class travel.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jan 29th, 2010, 08:37 AM
  #15  
 
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I've also not found much of a problem redeeming miles on BA.

Regarding the free companion ticket, be aware that you must purchase a full fare ticket to qualify for this -- and they cost more than purchasing two restricted tickets (of course, you do have the ability to cancel or reschedule flexible/full fare tickets with no penalty). You also have to spend $30,000 in a year before qualifying.

I priced out a round trip Denver (where I fly from) to London Heathrow March 15/March 24 and came up with $801.22 restricted economy and $3054.22 for flexible economy (which would be the flight class you'd have to purchase for the "free companion ticket"--giving you an effective ticket cost of $1527.11 each.

You might be able to change the dates on a restricted economy ticket for a fee and, most likely, an increase in price; according to the BA website: "Changes to itineraries booked in World Traveller (economy) are permitted, prior to the ticketed departure time of each flight for a fee of $275, subject to availability. The itinerary will be re–priced using fares in effect on the date the ticket is reissued and must meet all rule provisions of the newly ticketed fare."
evecolorado is offline  
Jan 29th, 2010, 08:40 AM
  #16  
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Thanks for all your advice. It's helped a lot. I already have a Capital One card, and I may just stick with that.
christycruz is offline  
Jan 29th, 2010, 12:39 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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You are right, Capitalone might be useless for biz class and first class flights but guess what? Through Capitalone, I got a free economy-class ticket to Thailand that I bought in August ($900 value) - ended up earning enough Continental miles on that trip (despite having a free ticket) that I have enough for a free one-way ticket to Acapulco. My husband earned the same amount of miles for a free one-way ticket to Acapulco too. Plus, as of this month, we already have amassed enough to for one free roundtrip to Acapulco using our Capitalone points. So, Capitalone works pretty well for us.
usernameistaken is offline  

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